Custody matters are often difficult for divorcing couples to settle. It may take hours of negotiations for you and your ex to reach an agreement or days of court hearings for a judge to determine what kind of custody arrangements would work best for your family.
The final custody order entered when the judge finalizes your divorce will have instructions about sharing custody that both you and your ex must follow. However carefully-crafted a custody order may be, your family circumstances will eventually change.
Your children will start sports, your ex will get a new job or you will move in with your new partner. Do you have to continue upholding the exact same custody terms even when your family circumstances change, or can you change the final custody order?
Pennsylvania law allows for modifications
Those co-parenting can make informal changes to their custody arrangement or ask the courts for a formal modification. Theoretically, you and your ex can make your own arrangements about custody changes when the need arises. As long as the two of you agree, you might change when you make custody exchanges or give one parent a little more time with the children.
When the changes are significant, or you and your ex don’t agree, you may need to go to court and ask for a modification hearing. Depending on whether you and your ex agree on the necessary changes, you can file either a contested or an uncontested modification request. After a judge reviews the situation, they can enter a new custody order based on the children’s best interests.
Familiarizing yourself with the custody rules in Pennsylvania will help you navigate the complexities of shared custody with your ex.